Iyanu wants nothing more than to fly under the radar at Wodebury Hall, a prestigious English boarding school where fitting in is everything. But then someone steals the photographs she took at a matchmaking event and spreads them throughout the school. The photos are all captioned with shocking secrets—including one about her estranged cousin, Kitan. Lies, betrayals, scandals: No one’s sure what’s true and what’s not, and everyone thinks Iyanu started it all. Kitan and Iyanu begin investigating—one seeking the truth behind the secret she received and the other determined to clear her name—but along the way, they discover the school may have even darker secrets.
Everyone’s Thinking It (Balzer + Bray, $19.99, 9780063225671) is an intense mystery about privilege and community. The story unfolds through two perspectives: Iyanu, a self-proclaimed outcast and photographer, and Kitan, desperate to keep her place in the school’s most popular trio.
Though they’re both Nigerian students in a majority white and upper-class environment, Iyanu and Kitan have developed completely different approaches to the Wodebury experience. Iyanu cuts herself off from anyone who could hurt her, while Kitan is willing to compartmentalize her pain in order to fit in. The stolen photos challenge Iyanu and Kitan to ask themselves hard questions: What would it mean to let yourself be seen? What do we lose when we give up our personal beliefs in order to please others?
As Iyanu and Kitan explore different ways to build community, they learn how to cut off ties that do more harm than good. Ultimately, they discover the value of being truthful—both to others and to themselves.
Sharp social commentary, compelling plot twists and tender moments of love make Everyone’s Thinking It a fun, insightful mystery and a great read for anyone seeking a mature YA novel that’s true to the experience of growing up.